Vitaly Ignatiev: Today, the Peacekeeping Mission Itself Needs Strong Protection


On the eve of the 30th anniversary of peacekeeping forces’ entry into Pridnestrovie, a round table was held in the Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation. PMR Foreign Minister Vitaly Ignatiev, Deputy Chairman of the State Duma Committee on CIS Affairs, Eurasian Integration and Relations with Compatriots Artem Turov, members of the Russian and PMR Civic Chambers, participants of the peacekeeping operation on the Dniester, and Russian and Pridnestrovian experts attended it, including online.

In his welcoming speech, Deputy Secretary of the Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation Alexander Shkolnik noted that peacekeeping missions are not created as an instrument of conflict resolution, but only as a necessary condition for its long-term and progressive settlement. Therefore, today’s meeting, in his opinion, “becomes even more significant and demanded by the very spirit of time.”

In his turn, the Foreign Minister noted that the peacekeeping operation on the Dniester is a unique phenomenon which has created the conditions for a peaceful political settlement of the conflict. Nevertheless, according to him, over the years of its activity, there have been constant requests from the Moldovan side ‘to terminate’ the peacekeeping mission and to reform it into a mission with a European mandate. “At the same time, however, Chisinau has sadly failed to come any closer to a final and fair peaceful settlement of the Moldovan-Pridnestrovian relations during 30 years of talks with Pridnestrovie,” the PMR Foreign Minister said.

In his presentation, Vitaly Ignatiev focused on the actions of the Moldovan side, which refuses to fulfill its obligations and, at the same time, declares from high rostrums the need to ‘minimize’ the peacekeeping operation.

“The peacekeeping operation will stay on the banks of the Dniester until we achieve a final, comprehensive, fair and peaceful solution to the conflict,” the diplomat stressed.

The PMR Foreign Minister dwelled on the military and political transformation of the regional situation, the militarization of the Republic of Moldova, its actual merging with Romania and entering the orbit of Western influence. Vitaly Ignatiev expressed his position that current political-military factors are shifting the power balance. It might have an impact on the peacekeeping mechanism as a whole. According to the Pridnestrovian Foreign Minister, the main problem at the moment is that the peacekeeping mission, which protects the peace on the banks of the Dniester, needs strong protection itself.

Vitaly Ignatiev stated that we cannot rule out the possibility that the Moldovan side will withdraw from the JCC and the JMC, as well as Moldova declaring the loss of political force of the agreement of 1992, which de jure brings the situation back to the moment of the conflict.

“Therefore, today I address the Civic Chamber, the distinguished experts and representatives of the Defense Ministry of the Russian Federation with the key message – we need to continue to protect peace, regional stability and security, and the interests of the people on the banks of the Dniester. For this purpose, we think that the Russian Federation has all political, legal, and moral grounds to continue the peacekeeping operation, even if Chisinau obeys Western political conjuncture and pressure and tries to dissemble the peacekeeping mechanism,” said Vitaly Ignatiev.

Russian State Duma Deputy Artem Turov also pointed out the uniqueness of the peacekeeping operation on the Dniester and said that the main task now is to protect and support the compatriots in Pridnestrovie.

Vladimir Ladunkin, chairman of the PMR Civic Chamber, shared his impressions about the reaction of the Pridnestrovian people to the introduction of the peacekeeping forces in 1992: “The Pridnestrovian people have boundless love for the Russian soldier. On behalf of the Civic Chamber of Pridnestrovie, the All-Pridnestrovian People’s Forum, and other NGOs, I express my deep gratitude to Russia for its peacekeeping mission.”

Oleg Belyakov, Co-Chair of the Joint Control Commission from Pridnestrovie, told the participants of the round table about the history of peacekeeping on the Dniester, the activity of the JCC and the challenges it faces at the current stage. “Our Moldovan colleagues have taken a position of gradual erosion of the current peacekeeping operation format, creating conditions, when certain functions become impossible to perform,” – Oleg Belyakov stressed.

In a forecast concerning the further development of the regional situation, Andrei Safonov, Deputy of the Supreme Council, recommended paying special attention to the possible attempts to torpedo the peacekeeping operation, which, in his opinion, will continue amid the global confrontation between Russia and the West.